Title: Weight of the World
Author: Riley Hart and Devon McCormack
Release Date: August 28th 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Page Count: 241 Pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
“The world’s an awfully big thing to carry by yourself.”
Zack lost his job, his apartment, and his hope, which is why he ends up on the roof of a high rise, certain that one final step will solve his problems. But a mysterious stranger named Rob happens to be on the roof that night too. He talks Zack down, convincing him there’s still hope left in the world. Zack thinks maybe he’s right, which is why he’s shocked when he turns on the news the next morning to find out Rob jumped himself. Disturbed and confused, he searches for answers, starting with Rob’s brother Tommy Rayburn.
It’s been Tommy’s job to take care of his brother since they were kids, taking the blows from their father so Rob wouldn’t have to. Tommy thought he could protect him, even if it meant carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Considering Rob threw himself off a building, he obviously couldn’t.
Then he meets Zack, a friend of Rob’s who’s suspiciously evasive about how they knew each other. But they’re both grieving and determined to find out why Rob jumped. Answers don’t come easily, and soon they’re soothing each other with sweat-slicked, passionate encounters. Hot as things get in the bedroom, it doesn’t take them long to realize there’s more between them than mind-blowing sex and their pain. But the heaviness is still there, threatening to pull them under, and if they can’t open up with each other to lighten the load, the weight just might be enough to crush them both.
So basically the story is exactly what the blurb says – and the whole drama of the story is when Zack will finally admit to Tommy that he was with Rob just before he jumped and that Rob had talked him out of committing suicide only to do it himself.
I wish I could tell him the truth. It itches at my conscience. Some part of me wants to share it all, but I’m so fucking scared I’ll lose the only person—the only friend—I’ve had in a long time.
I feel so stupid for thinking of him as that. We’ve only known each other for a few days, but after all we’ve shared, after all we’ve been through, that’s what it feels like.
“How the fuck would you have known?” Tommy asks.
He can’t understand. He can’t know how close I was to that moment.
I should have been selfless enough to try and figure out what the fuck this other guy was doing on the roof with me. I should have been smart enough to realize he wasn’t just some angel coming to rescue me from my own despair. That there was more to it than that.
Just tell him.
All I can bring myself to say is. “I’m so sorry, Tommy.”
Literally that secret, that weight, is the only tension in the story – but it’s masterfully done. As a reader you’re on tenterhooks waiting for the shoe to drop. For that grief to swell and rip and finally purge.
…because it reminds me if he knew the truth about that night on the roof…if I had opened up to him about how I really knew his brother, he wouldn’t forgive me either. I know it’s wrong to keep this from him, but it’s the only way to keep him in my life.
While the story does focus on the aftermath of suicide and those left behind who are left to wonder why, it’s not all doom and gloom, it’s not all tension and anxiety. There’s heat and passion between Tommy and Zack, and even some humor peppered throughout.
It’s been the most surreal thing in the world having Tommy in my life these past few weeks. Surreal, but wonderful. I’ve never let anyone in like this. Never talked to anyone so much. Watched stupid movies with someone else. Made meals. Joked around. And had repeat hot-ass sex that just gets better each time.
Told from multiple points of view, including Rob’s, this story packs a punch.
“World’s such a fucking lonely place,” he says.
I hear the despair in his voice. It’s a feeling I’m all too familiar with, but hearing him vocalize it makes me feel a little less alone. I just want to break down, but I reach within me, not for my own voice, but for the voice I would expect to hear from someone who can be more helpful than me. Someone like Tommy. What would he say to this guy? How would he help him through this?
“It can be,” I whisper. “But sometimes, you get lucky and cross paths with someone who can make it all feel a little less lonely. Sometimes they pop out of places where you least expect them.”
So, yeah…this garnered some tears, sparked some anger, and wrung a few sighs. It’s a romance at it’s heart and you definitely get a very sweet, very necessary HEA. That makes this a winner in my opinion.
He had hope. Hope that life could be better. Hope that something could go his way. Hope that I lost for a while there. Hope that I found in my darkest of moments with the help of a stranger that couldn’t find that for himself.